In my village, everyone gets excited during the summer because of tennis!
But as winter slowly, (very) slowly recedes, those of us who love the horses here, also get swept up in celebratory spirits, because each March, our stables- WVS, organises a black-tie, fund-raising event at Hotel du Vin.
I didn’t make the ball last year. I was in Singapore forcing my arm to move, so I gave my ticket to a Swedish friend. The previous year, I was newly transplanted, a stranger. Attending the event alone, I found myself seated with the Sorority Sisters, Frat Boys, Young Couple in Love, and the Good Girlfriend.
I missed my husband too sharply that night. I wished he was around to frame me, and provide, context.
Time passed. I got to know some terrific women, and they in turn, me. These days, I’m a familiar face.
When seen without Bruno, I’m often so kindly asked- Where is he? How is he?
This year, the very kind, lovely, and gentle J waved her magic wand and made sure I had choice seats- right beside her at Rafferty’s table! (Thank you, J!)
And so the evening passed too quickly in the company of the best sort of girls-
Women with such generosity of hearts, intelligence, thought, humour.
Because everyone is as horse-mad, you don’t have to edit thoughts nor worry about boring or being boorish.
Towards the end of dinner, the band came on.
No persuasion was needed to get us on the dance floor.
Before 10pm, I left to rescue Bruno who had braved 2.5 hours in the evening, alone.
Yesterday, I woke up with sore feet. My feet reminded me that the last time I danced in heels was last century. Shen Wei the Chinese Superstar Artist who was then new to New York, asked me to take him to a club. He wanted to see Americans dance.
I think that as cultural barriers begin to breakdown especially because of travel, the internet and social media, perhaps we don’t dance as differently as we once did, or thought we did. I’m sure Saturday night’s event raised a substantial amount for charity (cancer research, horse welfare) as did previous years. It reminded me that no matter where we come from, we all need ecosystems for support and sanity. I’m a solitary person- I do a lot of things alone without feeling the curse of loneliness or despair. But sometimes, when mountains need moving, or joy needs a voice, it does take, a village.